Greens Caucus says healthcare plan is positive first step, but not transformational

FREDERICTON – Green Party leader and MLA for Fredericton South David Coon says that after a decade of underfunding, inaction, and neglect of healthcare by successive governments, it is positive to see short-term actions to stabilize a system in crisis.

“The virtual provincial walk-in clinic they are creating will provide welcome relief to people and families without a doctor or nurse practitioner,” said Coon. “However, this temporary patch to our primary care system must not become a long-term substitute for real reform. I am concerned there is an agenda at work that will further entrench the management of health care in the private sector.”  

Green Party Health critic and MLA for Memramcook-Tantramar Megan Mitton was dismayed that the strategy does not fix the nursing crisis which is causing emergency and other health care services to be withdrawn from local hospitals, such as the Sackville Memorial Hospital.

“This plan needed to include bold action to resolve the reduction of services from our hospitals,” said Mitton. “To help fix the nursing crisis, I was looking for bold action that would include a commitment to invest the money needed in post-secondary nursing programs and it's not there.”

Mitton adds that the plan fails to tackle the determinants of health head-on through preventative healthcare measures.

“Preventative health care often gets ignored in health care discussions, but if it isn't addressed, it'll continue to contribute to some of the problems we face,” said Mitton. “Significant investments are desperately needed to reduce New Brunswick’s rates of poor health.”